My friend Barbara and I were disappointed with the amount of fruit and vegetables available for sale locally and knew that, with the great range of microclimates and soils in Nethercote and surrounding localities, there must be a lot being grown. We hoped that starting the market would be a great opportunity to encourage local growers to get involved and hopefully grow more.
A ustralia is an enormously wasteful society: on average, every Australian throws away the equivalent of five bags of groceries each year. That’s $8 billion worth of food, rotting in landfill. Almost half of what goes to Australian landfill is food and green waste. We have a widespread problem of nutrient depleted soils on our farming land, yet huge amounts of useful organic matter are thrown into landfill, contributing to greenhouse gases and climate change.
I could not believe how easy this is to make. Now I never buy ricotta, it just doesn’t compare to what I make at home. This is best made with whey (a by-product of cheese production) but failing that use full cream un-homogenised milk.
I think that if any of the readers of this magazine were asked if they ate local food most would say ‘yes, I shop at the local farmers’ market, grow my own vegies, swap with friends and support local businesses’. I would have said the same a year ago, but I decided to put my ‘eat localness’ to the test and to eat only local food for a month.
I assist in the running of Food Connect, a business based in Brisbane which turns its back on the supermarket system, brings farmers together and distributes what they grow straight to families (see www.foodconnect.com.au). The business model has branched out to most Australian cities.
When visiting the Autumn Farm property it’s hard not to feel like you’re in a 1992 SBS screening of a foreign film, set in the heart of a family-run farm, breathing in the warmth of the grass and feeling the rays of the sun on your skin. Just turning in to their driveway and walking down to the house can feel like you’ve walked on to a film set. The romantic setting and visceral vibe from the place is nuanced by the paced buzzing, set by the daily ‘grind’ of the Autumn Farm family.